You can pretty much copy and paste everything we said about the game in San Jose the other night and attach it to the one here against the Vancouver Canucks.
The Jets did just enough to earn a victory in a game they by all rights probably should have lost. Thanks to the 40 save heroics of Laurent Brossoit who earned his first ever career NHL shutout and a very late game winner off the stick of Mark Scheifele (who else?) the Jets go into the Christmas break on a high note and sitting on top of the Western Conference.
In lieu of a period by period recap, let us just go over some talking points because honestly as you could imagine from a 1-0 game, this was a bit of a snooze fest that perhaps was controlled a little more by the Canucks than the Jets.
Early on the Jets looked like they had a glorious chance to open up scoring in the game as a Dustin Byfuglien shot beat Jacob Markstrom with a cannon blast, but unfortunately the puck found the mid-section of Blake Wheeler who was instantly in some serious pain and needed to craw off the ice as one would when taking a Byfuglien shot to the proverbial bread basket.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 23, 2018
Thankfully Wheeler returned shortly after this which is quite remarkable and not anything what people thought they’d see after witnessing Wheeler make a slow crawl on the ice back to the bench and remain on the floor of the bench for sometime afterward, even delaying a faceoff as game officials checked on his well being.
As far as big chances or near misses go, that was maybe the biggest highlight of the game and likely the Jets best chance to score a goal until with less than two minutes left in the game, the Jets – who by all rights were out-played the entire night, did this…
— JetsNation (@NHLJetsNation) December 23, 2018
Seriously, this was a game that was low on any highlights and big on Vancouver controlling the play and since we’re not really in the business of showing off Vancouver highlights (we’re sure Canucks Army has some neat ones) this is as good as it gets. The Canucks out-shot the Jets in each of the three periods with the ratio for and against being especially bad in the second period. The high danger scoring chances were more than double in favor of the Canucks 16 to seven.
And it wasn’t just that the Canucks were getting more shots, they were getting more than a fair amount of them down low.
The Jets last three three games now have seen the club be out-worked and out-played and yet in two of those three games they found a way to win and do so in regulation. Now granted you can mostly chalk the win in San Jose to poor goaltending from Sharks goalie Martin Jones and credit tonight’s 1-0 win mainly to a 40 save performance by Laurent Brossoit, but in both games the Jets found ways to hang around and given themselves a chance to ear two points.
The Jets go into the Christmas break having won six of their last seven games and ten of their last 12. They also go into their break having played 12 games in 22 days with eight trips to and from cities mixed in there.
The Jets played tonight like they had cement in their skates. Passes were just missing sticks. At times they over-skated the puck and other times they made poor decisions with the puck and seemingly passed (literally) on some great scoring chances with some Globetrotter-esqe puck handling that often ended up being shut down by a strong Canucks defense.
The best thing to do really is just enjoy the last two wins this team has earned (if not stole) and try not to think too hard about them. This wasn’t the Winnipeg Jets at their best, this was the Winnipeg Jets at their “just good enough’ and that still got them four out of six points on a west coast road trip and and sees them sitting on top of the West heading into Christmas.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
For Winnipeg: Laurent Brossoit – 40 saves for his first career shutout only a handful of hours (those ferry rides to the island can be long) from his home town of Port Alberni, BC. The last few games saw him be a bit off with his positioning in net but still earning wins. Tonight he was tremendous and looked calm and relaxed in goal for the Jets.
For Vancouver: Jake Vertanen – The Canucks forward was seemingly everywhere tonight with five shots and credited five hits.